A sales executive provides succinct counsel to business leaders.
Debut author Lipuma follows a tried-and-true formula for business books: convey information in easily readable, numbered snippets so busy executives don’t have to work too hard to glean something of value. While the advice offered is common to other leadership books, this work’s content is tightly written and stylistically simple, which makes it all the more accessible. The 101 entries, no more than a page or two, nicely address larger, thoughtful issues in compact form. In “The Company is King,” for example, the author writes: “If we make decisions that ultimately do not benefit the organization, we put the livelihoods of every employee at risk.” In briefly discussing the hiring practices of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Lipuma explains, “They looked for passion, far and above anything else. They knew they could teach the business, but couldn’t teach heart.” Knotty issues are not beyond the author’s field of vision, either; Lipuma once decided he had to fire the top salesperson on his team because “he was disrespectful and egotistical, and he was padding expense reports and challenging the organizational vision.” Lipuma convinced his supervisor the individual had to go, reporting: “I was confident that we would unlock the potential of the team by eliminating this overwhelming undercurrent of negativity—and we did.” It is this kind of straight-from-the-shoulder observation that demonstrates why making tough decisions is a necessary leadership skill. Toughness aside, there is a distinct levelheadedness in many of Lipuma’s pieces. Clearly, he is not just knowledgeable about the sales process; he also recognizes what it takes to be a boss. He has a sense of the personal side of leadership. “I believe that when you feel out of balance,” he writes, “it is because you are missing things that are important to you.” Words of wisdom like these raise this short yet meaningful book above the pedestrian.
Nimbly written by a wise professional whose acumen and sales management experience shine through; offers brief bursts of leadership guidance in a format that can be read on the run.